All the problems/none of the benefits
I believe that the proposed asphalt plant would bring all of the problems of heavy industry with none of the benefits. From all I have learned in researching other towns that have fought such plants we can expect noise and odors, and added traffic from heavy vehicles which also emit noise and odors, and toxins. On the reverse side we cannot expect anything much in the way of local employment or lowering of our property taxes, both of which our lost mill industry supplied.
Those of us who are against the asphalt plant in Bethel are not against business. In fact many of us, like myself, are business people. There is business and then there is heavy industry, and both have their place. Over the past forty years Bethel has lost its industrial base and been forced to look more towards forestry related business, tourism, and outdoor activities to replace that economy.
All three of those work harmoniously together. Loggers have built ski mountains. Some venture into excavating to dig foundations for ski homes and condos. Hikers and bikers use logging roads. But rightly or wrongly the average person doesn't see loggers as being an Industrial business. That is not so for asphalt production, and Bethel has built its brand over the past twenty years as being one of the most quaint and pristine villages left in Maine.
I have heard the arguments regarding toxins, odor, and noise (I'm not sure anyone has mentioned the loss of property values that are typical around asphalt plants), but I haven't seen any mention of loss of brand. I can hear the conversation now between a local and some visiting tourist.
Tourist: "Where can you swim outdoors here in the summer?"
Local: "We have a nice swimming hole up the North Road. Just turn at the Big Adventure Center. It's up by the asphalt plant."